written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 10/11/2010
Here is a look into the iPhone's autocorrect feature, how to add and remove words from the iPhone autocorrect dictionary, and how to turn off autocorrect on your iPhone.
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Autocorrect is a fairly standard function in a lot of typing programs found in the home computing world, and the iPhone has copied this format to help you when you need to type on your iPhone. The idea for including the iPhone autocorrect is to quicken the process of using the relatively difficult, and small iPhone touch screen keyboard. In the end the iPhone autocorrect function is a double edged sword as it can help you to speed up the process once you get the rhythm, but it can also interrupt your flow with incorrect suggestions. Here is a guide to the iPhone autocorrect function including adding words to the autocorrect, how to remove words from the iPhone autocorrect dictionary, and how to turn off autocorrect on the iPhone.
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Adding To Your iPhone Autocorrect Dictionary
The iPhone autocorrect for text has a set dictionary when it starts out. It will then interpret the words that you are entering, whether it is in a text message or in Safari, and then pop up with what it thinks that you are trying to type. This is only according to the words that your iPhone's autocorrect knows, but it can learn words very easily.
The first, and most standard, way for your iPhone's autocorrect to learn words is to simply enter them often. Enter in words that the iPhone's autocorrect does not recognize and then exit out of the suggestions that are given to you. If this is done several times the iPhone's autocorrect dictionary learns the word and it will then both, stop trying to give a contrary suggestion, and it will become one of the possible suggestions that comes up with similar words.
The second, and more involved way, requires you to alter your Contacts List. Your iPhone's autocorrect dictionary recognizes things listed in the Contacts List as legitimate words for the autocorrect suggestions. This is why proper names found in your Contacts List will be recognized by your iPhone's autocorrect. Often people will create a series of false contacts with words that they use often that are not recognized by the iPhone's autocorrect. For example, swear words are not recognized by the iPhone's autocorrect dictionary and so some people will create false contacts with those words so that they will be included.
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How to Remove Words from the iPhone Autocorrect Dictionary
Your iPhone learns words on a regular basis, but if you want to remove words from the iPhone autocorrect dictionary you have to go through a different process. You do not have a regular way to remove words from the iPhone autocorrect dictionary and instead if you are looking to remove words from the iPhone autocorrect dictionary your best bet is to simply delete the entire dictionary of learned autocorrect words. Go into the iPhone Settings and go down to General, which will be at the top of the third block of options above Mail, Contact, Calendars. Go down to the very bottom option in General, which is Reset. You are going to get a number of different options for reset here, and you will want to choose Reset Keyboard Dictionary. This will allow you to start where you were when you first had your iPhone and it will remove all words from the iPhone autocorrect dictionary that were learned.
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How to Turn Off Autocorrect on the iPhone
It may serve you best just to turn off autocorrect on the iPhone if it constantly interrupts your typing. If you want to turn off autocorrect on the iPhone you start by going to Settings and selecting General, in the same way as when you were looking to remove words from the iPhone autocorrect dictionary. This time you will go to Keyboard, and inside you will choose to turn off Auto-Correction from the top of the available lists.
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There are a number of iPhone apps that can be used to essentially port over the autocorrect function, but without doing so internally in your actual function. Instead, what you will find are iPhone apps that provide spell checking functions for different features. For example, Easy Email - Spell Check will allow for a spell check function right in your email. This is going to be much more efficient and is going to give you a better screening function, but it will also run you $2.99. For most features you should simply use the iPhone's autocorrect function or go without, as including an outside iPhone app is actually going to end up taking more of your time.